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Unread 05-12-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
dkruks
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Default using way too many pellets

my CS-450 seems to be going through a lot of pellets,i know that i have been doing relatively high heat cooks for a pellet grill around 300* to 350*...in my 5 cooks so far i have used over 20lbs of pellets... the manual says that at medium setting(on the dial) should run at 350*...was told that the medium setting would use about 1lb of pellets/hour...when i have the dial set to medium the temp is about 190* i have to be almost set to high to achieve 350*....this doesn't seem right to me.

My question is, at the top/rear of my barrel there is 5 - 1 inch vent holes, would i do any type of damage if i blocked 1 - 2 or 3 of them to try to keep my heat up inside to lower my dial setting and us less pellets?

any advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks,

Dave
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Unread 05-12-2011, 10:23 PM   #2
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I did some demo cooks on a CS-450 and cooked in the 350* range on the majority of them, and felt it used a lot of pellets too. I didn't really have it long enough to get an idea what the ideal consumption would be. It just seemed I had to fill the hopper too often.
I talked to a guy that uses one in his restaurant and he added the hopper extension, but cooked at lower temps.

Try a magnet strip or some conduit plugs in the rear vent holes and see what it does.
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Unread 05-12-2011, 10:32 PM   #3
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Um - I have one too. That seems like you are getting a lot of cooking done for the amount of pellets. Mine goes through them even faster. I fiddled around with trying to put a half pipe that hung over the lip that covers the holes and let the smoke come out one end of the pipe to lower pellet usage but really all that did was allow me to put a blanket over the cooker.

Ambient air temperature seems to have the most impact on my pellet usage. The fan blows in so much air that if it is a cool day it can override the small fire in the box. I am still trying to figure out how to create some type of air preheater for my unit.

I put bricks in the bottom of the unit almost up to the fire box part. It may be my wishful thinking but this has seemed to stabilize the temps (does not swing from 200 to 250 as fuel is added and burns).

The temp on the door on my unit differs by about 40 degrees over what a long (turkey fryer) thermometer inserted at grate level opposite end of the fuel box reads.

Last edited by scottfry11; 05-12-2011 at 11:02 PM..
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Unread 05-12-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
dkruks
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i live in a cool climate...right our daytime highs are in 59*F range so that could explain things...but i really do love this cooker, i have not been disappointed with anything that has come off it...just wish i could get the temp consistant and use less pellets...scott how do you find yours for temperature control?
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Unread 05-13-2011, 01:04 AM   #5
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It takes me about an hour to get the temp where I want it, mainly because my son goes up and turns the dial. After that, it stays within 20 degrees of the set point all day. I have tried high temp but still prefer the kettle for that. This is just used for Q and it does a fine job of that. I buy cheap pellets that are probably for a stove but they have the bbq stamp or outdoor patio association stamp on them (4.29 for 40lbs). I mix in pecan shells that I get for free from a local pecan shelling place. It increases ash but not too bad.

I am starting to think I may try to change the fan to a lower cfm model or see if it would be easy to change the speed of it.
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Unread 05-13-2011, 01:17 AM   #6
Midnight Smoke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkruks View Post
my CS-450 seems to be going through a lot of pellets, any advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks,

Dave
Hi Dave, I do not own a Pellet grill but I wondered, what types of Pellets are you using? Have you owned this cooker very long? If so, has it always acted the same or did the issue start up recently?
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Unread 05-13-2011, 06:33 AM   #7
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Outside temp and thickness of the walls is your enemy with that grill, much like the less expensive pellet grills on the market these days. There are ways to fix this. Get to a fireplace store and buy some fire bricks to run alongside the auger feed tube and in the belly of your smoker. Since you don't have a stack you can't stuff a foil ball in the stack but as far as the vents go, as long as it is controlled via RTD sensor (thermo connected to temp control board) you are fine to restrict the flow a bit.

On one of my Traegers I also gasketed the lid of the unit using one inch fiberglass self adhesive gasket rope. I have no issues at all maintaining temp and barely using pellets at all.

A quick cheap solution....get a welding blanket and toss it over it, as long as you figure a way to let the smoke out. Maybe you can rig a few short stacks from your vent areas to poke through.
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Unread 05-25-2011, 07:29 PM   #8
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so... I went to start my smoker the other day, and all that happen was my fire box just filled with pellets, and my "hot"rod never heated up...darn thing farked up on me already!!!!

so I called the manufacture (Dansons) and told them what was up...he gathered my info and told me that my new hot rod would arrive in 3 days...It was a VERY pleasent warranty experiance...I was very pleased...

While I was chatting with the fellow on the phone, he asked me if my fire box was removable, so I told him that it was...he preceeded to tell me to take high heat silicone and place a bead and lock the firebox into place with the silicone. HE told me that the air from the fan was getting lost under the firebox and not getting force up through the fire grate...told me that it would reduce pellet usage, and also get me to a higher grilling temp for fast cooks.

Now...I have check the temperature rating on a lot of silicones, and the highest rating I can find is 500*F....I also was reading the burn point of wood...

(The Combustion Process of Burning Wood
Wood heats up to approximately 212 oF (100 oC) evaporating the moisture in it. There is no heating from the wood at this point
Wood solids starts to break down converting the fuel gases (near 575 oF, 300 oC)
From 575 oF to 1100 oF (300 - 600 oC ) the main energy in the wood is released when fuel vapors containing 40% to 60% of the energy burn
After burning fuel vapors and evaporated the moisture, only charcoal remains burning at temperatures higher than 1100o F
TC = 5/9(TF - 32) )

my question is will the silicone melt or cause me problems sitting inches from my firegrate that will be at temperatures in excess of 1000*F?


thanks,

Dave
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Unread 05-26-2011, 02:45 PM   #9
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sorry...just a quick bump up to the front of the line just in case one of you knows the answer to my question...
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Unread 05-26-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
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I would call the MFGR and ask about the length of pellet that they use to test their pellet grill. The diameter and length of the actual pellet varies widely. Maybe the size of the pellet will make a diference also the brand of pellet may make a diference as well.
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